Broadblue Rapier 550 - Blue Wonder – Thursday 2nd December
19 53N 042 36.3W
It’s really hard to describe how easy this Rapier 550 is to live with at sea! The winds are varying from 20-35 knots and the sea state is quoted as 3-4m, but seems a lot bigger when you are in them, and yet we are all in shorts and t-shirt, seated watching the world go by as the washing machine completes the next load! The view from the back doors is intermittently of a wall of grey/blue sea and then open water into grey cloud and yet the boat just handles it and gets on with it’s job of delivering us safely to St Lucia.
In trying to decide how fast to push this boat I have taken the decision that arriving safely is more important then trying to break records and so we have been using a very leisurely jib-only sail plan and still been matching or bettering most of the fleet. Today the crew decided that they wanted a bit more challenge and so we now have a double reefed mainsail and full working jib but by necessity have had to come off the rhomb line direct route to the destination. That means our boat speed has to increase if our VMG is not to reduce. At the moment, with main and jib set we are making about 8.4 knots VMG with a current speed over the ground of 8-12 knots. Yesterday our VMG was 6.7knots and so this looks at first glance as though it might be good for us.
The weather forecast for tomorrow is for the wind to lighten a little and for the swell to reduce a little and then on Saturday we should be able to set the parasail and carry that all the way to the finish! It would be good to get back to sustained boat speeds over 10 knots again.